The Boise State football team traveled to Logan, Utah, to defeat the Utah State Aggies 27-3 in their first conference game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 25.
The Broncos now move to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in their conference while the Aggies fall to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in their conference after the game.
According to Head Coach Andy Avalos, the team was able to succeed this week because of how close each player and coach has gotten to each other.
“All of the players and everyone involved in the operation believe in how close we are as a team,” Avalos said. “I know sometimes, because of all the things that are said and people’s opinions, perspective gets lost and it was unbelievable how everybody came back to prepare for this week on Monday.”
The Broncos started off strong as redshirt senior safety Tyreque Jones got his second pick of the year on the second play of the game along with a blocked field goal by redshirt junior defensive tackle Scott Matlock.
The second quarter remained scoreless, despite an interception by Tyric LeBeauf. That interception was his third of the season, adding to his two interceptions against the University of Central Florida.
Junior quarterback Hank Bachmeier completed a three-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Khalil Shakir in the third quarter to make the score 17-0. Shakir also made two nearly impossible catches; one stayed in bounds and the other went out of bounds.
“That’s just Khalil,” Bachmeier said when asked about Shakir’s impressive plays against Utah State. “When he makes an insane play, it’s normal. It’s not normal but I’ve seen him make a great play so many times that it’s just normal for him.”
The final quarter consisted of senior kicker Connor Coles scoring Utah State’s only points of the game with a 20-yard field goal. Boise State responded by adding another field goal by Dalmas and a touchdown pass from Bachmeier to Matlock.
Although Boise State’s offense managed to score 27 points on Utah State’s home turf, their defense ended up stealing the show.
The Boise State defense held a Utah State offense, which has averaged 41 points per game so far this season, to only a field goal. They also tore apart both of Utah State’s quarterbacks by getting two interceptions and a stripsack by redshirt junior defensive tackle Jackson Cravens and recovery by redshirt junior edge rusher Demitri Washington.
The defense is also now leading their conference in average points per game allowed with 18.3 and interceptions with 7.
“I’m just trying to go out there and do the best job I can out there and help the team,” Matlock said after being asked about his performance. “It just all falls on doing your job and that’s all I can control. If you do everything right and give a good effort, sometimes you make great plays.”
Junior safety JL Skinner continues to make a solid case for Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year with 13 total tackles — 11 of them being solo tackles — and having the most Boise State tackles in a game for the fourth straight game.
Skinner is also leading the Mountain West Conference with 35 solo tackles, 45 total tackles and 11.3 tackles per game.
The team’s next game will be on The Blue against the Nevada Wolfpack at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2.